Whelan Statement on A.C. Recovery Legislation

Today, Senator Jim Whelan (D - Atlantic) released the following statement after the Senate approved the Atlantic City recovery bill package:

"While today's passage of Atlantic City recovery legislation is just the beginning in the fight to stabilize the city's finances, we have provided a much-needed lifeline to Atlantic City in order to avoid bankruptcy. It is now up to city government, the Mayor and City Council, to make very difficult decisions and offer a clear plan to balance its budget. I strongly urge the governor to sign these bills into law as soon as possible so we can begin to move forward."

Mazzeo to Hold Mobile Office During Richland Village Festival this Saturday

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo will be hosting the next installment of his "Community Office Hours Program" at the Richland Village Festival this Saturday, May 28th between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

Assemblyman Mazzeo started this program to provide residents the opportunity to meet with their legislators outside of normal office hours, at a convenient and easily accessible location in their community. Assemblyman Mazzeo is excited to bring his office hours to such a popular, family friendly event in Buena Vista. Representatives from the office will be on hand to answer questions and have information available for assistance programs for seniors, veterans, and families.

WHAT: Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and his staff will be hosting his "Community Office Hours Program" at the Richland Village Festival

WHEN: Saturday, May 28   10:00AM- 2:00PM


WHERE: Michael Debbi Park, Cedar Avenue, Richland, NJ

WHELAN BILL TO IMPROVE APPOINTMENT PROCESS OF STATE ETHICS COMMISSION ADVANCES

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan that would create new qualification requirements for members of the State Ethics Commission and overhaul the appointment process was approved by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee today.

“The State Ethics Commission plays an important role in the establishment and enforcement of ethical standards for state employees,” said Senator Whelan (D-Atlantic). “Ensuring that it is free of political influence will not only maintain the Commission’s independence and impartiality, but it will preserve the integrity and the public’s trust in its work.”

The State Ethics Commission was created to administer and enforce the New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law and some sections of the Casino Control Act. Under current law, the Commission is comprised of four public members and three members appointed by the Executive Branch.

The proposed bill, S-2100, would require that, of those three Executive Branch appointees, one is an officer or employee of the Division of Law in the Department of Law and Public Safety and another is an officer or employee of the Office of the State Comptroller.

The bill would also create an Appointment Advisory Panel comprised of six retired judges or retired justices of the Superior or Supreme Courts of New Jersey, with no more than three members from the same political party. Under the bill, one of the panel’s members would be appointed by the Governor, one by the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, one by the Senate President, one by the Senate Minority Leader, one by the Assembly Speaker, and the last by the Assembly Minority Leader.

Three months before the end of a commission member’s term, or five days after a vacancy, the Governor, the Attorney General, or the Commission would notify the panel of the vacancy. The panel would convene within five days of receiving notice and, within 60 days, provide a list of three possible replacement candidates to the Governor. If within ten days of receiving the list, the Governor chooses to nominate an alternative, the bill requires that appointment be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

“The new appointment procedure proposed under the bill will serve to remove politics from the selection process, which has come under criticism in the past, and eliminate doubt over the work of the State Ethics Commission,” added Senator Whelan.

The bill would further require that all members of the commission and the panel be residents of the State, at the time of their appointment and during service on the commission or panel. It would take effect immediately upon passage. Six months after the effective date, all terms of current members of the commission would be terminated, but would be eligible for reappointment.

The bill was released from the Senate State Government Committee by a vote of 4-0. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Mazzeo Responds to Gov's Veto of Wind Energy Bill

(TRENTON) - Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) released the following statement regarding the absolute veto of his wind energy cultivation bill (A-3093):

"It's disappointing to see the Governor join the BPU in standing in the way of wind energy production and job creation in Atlantic City. 

"This bill would have simply allowed revised applications like the Fisherman's Energy project off the coast of Atlantic City to be heard again. Fisherman's Energy heeded the advice of the BPU and revised their application making it more cost effective among other changes. 

"By blocking legislation mandating the BPU to revisit applications, the governor has failed to honor the OWEDA pledge he signed in 2010 to green our environment and green our economy.

"This was our opportunity to make New Jersey a leader in the wind energy industry with a diversified energy portfolio that would have put men and women in the Atlantic City region back to work."